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GH3 vs G5

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by xdayv, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Lately I have been looking into these 2 bodies. Any thoughts you could chime in?

    I don't mind the video, I don't use that feature. :biggrin:
     
  2. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    729
    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I have both, they are both great cameras.
    The GH3 is larger and heavier with more buttons and dials to enable quicker easier access to changing settings, the EVF is actually smaller than that of the G5 although higher resolution but my preference is the G5 EVF. The rear screens are the same size although the GH3 is higher resolution but in reality both work fine.
    I do like the compactness and light weight of the G5 and find the ergonomics to be really good. There is nothing wrong with the GH3 but I do find myself taking a while to really "gel" with it.
    In some ways I prefer the G5, it really is a good camera.
    The GH3 has better overall performance and the same sensor as the OM-D so it does have better Dynamic range and high ISO but the G5 is perfectly adequate for most part anyway so it's maybe not such a major consideration.
    If I had to only keep one of those bodies it would probably be the G5, just through virtue of compactness and lighter weight.

    Paul
     
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  3. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    The GH3 has a lot more physical controls, which are a bit lacking on the G5. It also has much better battery life, faster buffer write speeds and a better sensor (slightly better at high ISO and with better dynamic range).

    The G5 is a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper.

    There are varying opinions on the viewfinder - I currently have both cameras and wouldn't choose one over the other on this basis.

    I find them both to be great cameras, and I think they both have nice handling - much better than the olympus OM-D.

    Whichever you get, you'll end up with a very nice bit of kit :)
     
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  4. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    If you do not need the video, save the money for lenses and get the G5.
     
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  5. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    My thoughts / reasons on why I bought a G5:

    I wanted to get into a mirrorless system and not break the bank all at once.
    Decided to go with a cheaper body (almost 1/3 the price of the GH3/OM-D) and put my money into the lenses. When I accomplish that task, with lenses that will hold their value, I will be ready to upgrade the body, since they tend to come out pretty often.
     
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  6. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Paul, by how much is the GH3 better in high ISO to G5 in your opinion? Is there a difference on how they render color (particularly skin tones)? Thanks for your valuable insights above.
     
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I had the G5 before the GH3, Paul covered most of it I think. The GH3 is maybe a stop or less usable high ISO, and I feel it has a slight edge in dynamic range and detail resolution as well. Ergonomics on the G5 are good, but the GH3 is probably the best of any camera I've used in that respect. The G5 is a fantastic deal, and I would probably lean toward it as a recommendation unless you are willing to pay around 3x the price for these features on the GH3:

    - edge in IQ and ISO performance
    - bigger, more comfortable grip and lots more manual controls
    - longer battery life (~500 shots vs. 350)
    - battery grip option
    - weather-sealing
    - magnesium alloy body (tougher and more solid)
    - video features (I don't shoot video so can't offer comparison)

    If any of those or some combination thereof are compelling enough for the price differential to you then I have no issues recommending the GH3; it's a great camera. However, the G5 is a good camera too and an absolute steal at the prices they're going for now.
     
  8. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    I'm not Paul, but I'll try to answer :smile:

    In the testing I've done, with RAW files, I'd rate the GH3 as around 1/2 stop better up to around ISO 3200. I've not tested at higher ISOs. I've not noticed a significant difference in colour rendering, but I've not been using the GH3 for portraits much yet, so I'm afraid I can't really comment on skin tones.
     
  9. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    729
    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I've not done any technical comparisons but maybe a stop better or there abouts.
    At any ISO there seems to be more recoverable highlights to some degree so the increase in DR is useful, although to be honest I've not had any real issues with DR with the G5.

    I do think the colour rendering is better in the GH3 in raw and jpg's, it has more OLy like vibrance and colour tones. I can't comment on skin tones as I don't shoot portraiture but with landscapes etc I found the colours better (only slightly, there is really nothing wrong with the G5 rendering).

    Paul
     
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  10. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Thanks Paul for the helpful reply. It's gonna be a hard time to choose between the 2, but good to know that either way, I'll end up with a good choice nevertheless.
     
  11. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    899
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Hi
    I bought a G5 soon after release and loved it - superb ergonomics - particularly comfortable and good handling with small and larger lenses alike.
    Great features and image quality
    When the GH3 came out I jumped at it and sold the G5 to buy one
    Initially over the moon with the GH3 but as time has gone on I realised that I did not need such an expensive camera for my modest hobby and felt a little guilty at having such an expensive camera which for most of the week sits in a cupboard (family finances being a little tight at present)
    I have to say that the GH3 s a superb camera - the additional control dials and buttons etc are just what I am looking for in a M43 camera body
    (One criticism - the viewfinder in the GH3 has been a disappointment as Paul has pointed out)
    Also having the GH3 restricted me to having only one body due to the cost.
    I prefer to have more than one body in my bag so that I can have two lenses available for use without swapping
    The GH3 is also too big to put in my small - medium bag alongside another body with lens and I also like to have one example at least from Olympus and Panasonic as neither make the perfect camera and each have their own distinct advantages and styles
    I had the opportunity to sell the GH3 without incurring much loss and it has gone.
    I then managed to find a near mint G5 on ebay for a good price
    On picking up the G5 I have to say that the balance between ergonomics and size is superb (spot on) and I instantly felt that my hand was wrapped around the 'right' Panasonic camera for me at present
    I can very comfortably carry the G5 around one handed whilst out with my family with just a wrist strap for security
    I have now also bought an E-PM2 -also at a good price which will be my completely pocketable camera for picking up quickly 'to go' on which I have fitted a 14mm Panny Pancake (superb combination) with the option of VF2 when needed
    I would say that image quality from the E-PM2 is on a par or at least very close to the GH3 - the low light response is very good - amazing quality for such a small camera and I can see why Amin likes it so much - but it would not however be my choice as my only camera as it is much too small for handling with larger lenses imo
    I now have my ideal for the moment two body two lens outfit and at the weekend went out with Panasonic G5 fitted with 45 - 175 and the E-PM2 fitted with the 14mm. Great combination and tempted to reduce my lens collection as a result - photos to follow when time permits
    The E-PM2 will enable me to use unstabilsed Olympus lenses such as the 60mm Macro and the G5 will suit the larger lenses and be better when flash units are required for example
    The two bodies together have cost me about £600 and have again provided the sort of ultimate versatility that to my mind is only available with the Micro Four Thirds system
    My advice to the OP as a result would be to go with the G5 although there was a definate tinge of sadness associated with letting the GH3 go.
    It is a superb camera for those wanting or needing its specification and it does indeed produce very good very natural looking colours and tones.
    I would not hesitate to recommend it
    Regards
    Rob
     
  12. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Robert, appreciate you chiming in with your experiences with these 2 bodies, I'm definite they will help me in my quest for either of these 2 bodies. You have some strong points for me to consider. Thank you.
     
  13. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Aug 16, 2012
    Yes, this is where I'd put the advantage. I now purposely underexpose my G5 shots on bright sky scenes by 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop to give me the option to recover highlights. I'd also agree the white balance is slightly better on the GH3 at least for landscape - but this is easily recoverable for me as I always shoot raw.

    I am waiting for the G6/G7 with GH3 sensor to come out. I have looked long and hard at a GH3 (and even had a pretty good offer price) but I couldn't justify the price to replace/augment my G5 simply for a slightly better highlight performance - even though I could have afforded it.

    The GH3 does also produce slightly sharper images too - perhaps the AA filter is lighter.
     
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  14. Manu-4Vendetta

    Manu-4Vendetta Mu-43 Top Veteran

    592
    Jul 8, 2011
    Dominican Republic
    If is only for still G5, seems be a great camera with a good price (or GX1 or E-PL5). With the rest of the money you invest in lenses.
     
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  15. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    Late to the party but the gh3 has a very broad highlight recovery and skin tones are a real delight. Very contrasty and accurate.

    8470128736_a006c94711_c.
     
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  16. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    729
    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I think a fair summary would be the GH3 is a more "polished" version of the G5, it has lots of incremental improvements in performance, handling, IQ and rendering but the trade off is a larger heavier camera, although more robust and weather sealed.
    Overall it is a superior camera to the G5 but whether that is enough to justify the increased size, weight and heftier price tag is up to the individual.

    Paul
     
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  17. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    I think that's a good way to sum up the difference Paul. I've been trying to choose between them for a while now, before finally deciding to keep the GH3, along with an Olympus PL-5 for when I want to go light :)
     
  18. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    Some very good responses on this thread and now I am getting some thoughts in my mind as well :). I currently have GH3 and have been constantly questioning myself if I **really** needed such an expensive camera (replaced OM-D) for a hobby. In the last couple of months that I have owned GH3, I have probably only taken couple of 100 pictures and though I love GH3 for what it is, I never really use it for any videos and that is why have been thinking about selling it and getting a G5.

    Last week, I also picked up E-PM2 + 14-45 PZ and Panny 20mm, as my "light" kit for times when I do not want to take my GH3. So now I am questioning keeping GH3 even more.
     
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  19. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I too bought GH3 and sold OM-D over the new body excitement, but now I think I should probably get GH2 and keep OM-D for video consider GH2 is rock bottom price right now.

    But since I am planing to do videos for living (event/wedding etc) so I can justify the cost of over G5 for that matter, besides it look more "professional" than any other M43 body atm

    Anyway G5 have 921K LCD while GH3 only have 610K OLED, so GH3 actually have less resolution LCD than G5, but when viewing the GH3 screen is certainly nicer than G5.
     
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  20. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    I do have to agree with your wisdom on this Paul, thanks for your input.